Tongue and Lip Tie: Evaluation and Resection

Tongue & Lip Tie Evaluation & Resection

Dr. Joe Guido, Dr. Shivaun McArtor, & Dr. Ishan Larsen are always here to support you and your child. We frequently see infants and school age children at Mountain Kids Pediatric Dentistry for an evaluation & resection of a tongue tie and/or lip tie.

Did you know?

A tongue-tie (or Ankyloglossia) is a restriction of tongue movement from an attachment of the tongue to the floor of the mouth. It’s caused by a frenum that is either too short or too close to the tip of the tongue.

A lip-tie is when the upper lip remains attached to the upper gums by a frenum that is either too short or continues too low down to the tooth line.

What to Expect at Your Appointment for a Tongue & Lip Tie Evaluation

When you and your little one come in, you’ll be met with our friendly staff and quickly taken to a private treatment room. There, you’ll meet with one of our specialists to discuss what you’ve been experiencing with your child and any concerns you may have. 

The dentist will look at the frenum (fancy word for what creates the tie) and evaluate if it needs to be released. The dentist will explain the pros and cons of a frenectomy (a release of the frenum) based on your individual child and you’ll be able to make an informed decision. We love working with lactation consultants and pediatricians, if you were sent by another specialist, please let us know.

What issues are commonly associated with Tongue & Lip Ties?

Infants & Babies

  • Difficulty feeding – either with a bottle or breast.
  • Painful breastfeeding
  • shallow latch .
  • Inability to curl or move the top lip upward during feeding affecting the infant’s ability to latch and create a good seal.
  • Clicking noises during nursing 
  • Swallowing of air
  • long feedings 
  • reflux issues.

Toddlers & Older Children

  • A large gap between the two front teeth created by the frenum
  • Difficulty opening the mouth widely
  • Speech difficulties certain sounds R’s TH’S S’s

 

When a Tongue or Lip Tie Resection (Frenectomy) is recommended, you’ll be given the option of two different methods:

Resection Type Pros Cons
Traditional
(scalpel or surgical scissors)
You can stay with your child during the procedure. When compared to the laser, healing is a bit longer and there is more bleeding.
Laser resection A laser resection creates almost no bleeding and are completely sterile, which decreases the risk of infection. 

Post laser resection recovery of the frenum is quick because it stimulates bio-regeneration & healing. with tongue ties, often times only a topical anesthetic is needed.

Faster procedure.

You will have to leave the room briefly during the procedure to ensure your eyes are not affected by the laser. This is usually only about 2 minutes.

After Your Child's Resection:

  • If you are breastfeeding, we recommend nursing immediately after resection as it will work to help speed up recovery and sooth the baby. Often, you’ll experience an immediate improvement in nursing. It’s also possible your baby may struggle initially from some residual numbing, which will wear off in 30-60 minutes. 
  • You will be given treatment exercises for your child to help in their recovery.
  • If you are nursing and have not worked with a lactation consultant yet, we recommend checking in with one to ensure your child learns a proper latch. We can provide you with some recommendations at your appointment if you’re interested.  I don’t have one handy, do you? Can we get referral info to provide to young moms? As the tissue heals it scars.  The stretching exercises help to reduce relapse caused by significant scaring. 
  • A few days after the procedure, the wound may look white/yellow and gooey. This is a normal way that the mouth heals.

Luna Lactation Post Frenotomy Exercises